Browsing by Subject "behavioural economics"

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  • Frerichs, Sabine (2011)
    Economic bestsellers like Freakonomics and Nudge that mainly address outsiders of the economic discipline are also consumed by lawyers. The latter has already become an important reference in the field of consumer law and policy. In principle, this is nothing to complain about but part of law’s encounter with science, namely the social sciences. Notably, the law and economics movement proved successful in importing economic perspectives into legal discourse. However, it would seem questionable if the law followed each trend on the academic book market. While there has been an increasing emphasis on economic perspectives at the expense of sociological perspectives within the field of law, economy, and society, a major shift can now also be observed in the field of law and economics. With the behavioural turn in law and economics, homo oeconomicus seems to be transformed into Homer Economicus, and consumer law prone to be Simpsonized. In this paper, the turn from neoclassical law and economics to behavioural law and economics will be analyzed from a third, namely sociological perspective: the economic sociology of law. In this framework, it is possible to compare and confront the ‘old’ homo oeconomicus rationalis and the ‘new’ homo oeconomicus behavioralis with a third model – homo oeconomicus culturalis – which demonstrates the limits of the previous models, not least with regard to explaining the recent financial crisis. While governance by nudges might look, at first sight, as a tempting idea, I will question the normative side of this project and emphasize its possible effects on our legal culture and, thereby, our human condition.
  • Mostýnová, Michaela (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In Finland, entrepreneurs (both employers and self-employed) are, compared to salaried employees, free to increase their compulsory retirement insurance contributions to the public pension fund; this being an alternative to additional saving for retirement in private pension funds. This thesis seeks to identify and further examine factors which supposedly influence entrepreneurs‘ perceived sufficiency of their retirement insurance payments . The purpose is to subsequently recommend retirement policy designs which would incentivize Finnish entrepreneurs to increase their contributions to the public pension fund. The empirical section of this work was conducted on a sample of 2 294 entrepreneurs (1 533 self-employed and 761 employers) who took part in the 2017 Labor Force Ad hoc Survey on Entrepreneurship carried out by Statistics Finland. The initial hypotheses gave rise to four categories of variables, presumably affecting sufficiency of retirement insurance contributions perceived by the study sample; namely, ’Personal characteristics & Business background’, ’Motivation’, ’Future perspectives’ and ’Job satisfaction & excitement’. The obtained results suggest that the majority of the selected variables have an effect on entrepreneurs’ perceived sufficiency of their pension insurance contributions. Besides, the factors identified as negatively affecting the perceived sufficiency of retirement insurance payments were more frequently present in the group of self-employed compared to the group of entrepreneurs (employers). Therefore, it is expected that the self-employed are more prone to pay themselves insufficient pension insurance contributions. However, all these factors are considered as incorrigible since they stem from the very nature of complex human behaviour. In this sense, the behavioural approach seems to be highly relevant when forming retirement insurance policies seeking to encourage prudent saving behaviour. This study applies an alternative approach of behavioural economics to the problematics of retirement saving. The first part of the thesis outlines foundations of behavioural economics which serve as a theoretical background for further analyses. For instance, propositions of procrastination, self-control and mental accounting are discussed.
  • Kaljonen, Minna; Salo, Marja; Lyytimäki, Jari; Furman, Eeva (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2020)
    British Food Journal 122 (11), 3313-3329
    Purpose The critical role of diet in climate change mitigation has raised behavioural approaches to the top of the agenda. In this paper, the authors take a critical look at these behavioural approaches and call for a more dynamic, practice-oriented understanding of long-term changes in sustainable food consumption and supply. Design/methodology/approach This approach is based on the experiences from a long-term experiment promoting sustainable eating in a workplace lunch restaurant using a series of informational and nudging techniques. In the experiment, the authors found that focussing solely on eating behaviours did not help to capture the multi-level change processes mobilised. The authors therefore propose a more dynamic, practice-oriented methodology for examining long-term changes in sustainable eating. The emprical data of the experiment are based on qualitative and quantitative data, consisting of customer survey, customer and kitchen personnel focus group discussions and monitoring data on the use of food items in the restaurant and their climate impacts. Findings The results draw attention to a series of practical challenges restaurants face when promoting sustainable eating. Directing analytical attention to tinkering helped to reveal the tensions brought about by labelling and nudging in menu planning and recipe development. The results show how tinkering required attentiveness to customers' wishes in both cases. Nudging offered more freedom for the restaurant to develop menus and recipes. In the case scrutinised, however, nudging customers towards tastier and more satiating vegetarian dishes included the use of dairy. This partly watered down the climate benefits gained from reduced meat consumption. Originality/value Rather than looking separately at changes in consumer behaviour and in the supply of food, the authors show how we need analytical concepts that enable the evaluation of their mutual evolution. Tinkering can assist us in this endeavour. Its adaptive, adjustive character, however, calls for caution. The development of praxis in food services and catering requires critical companions from the transdisciplinary research community. Research can provide systematic knowledge on the impacts of labels and nudges on kitchen praxis. However, research itself also needs to tinker and learn from experiments. This necessitates long-term speculative research strategies.
  • Mireles-Flores, Luis (2018)
    This essay is a review of the recent literature on the methodology of economics, with a focus on three broad trends that have defined the core lines of research within the discipline during the last two decades. These trends are: (a) the philosophical analysis of economic modelling and economic explanation; (b) the epistemology of causal inference, evidence diversity, and evidence-based policy, and (c) the investigation of the methodological underpinnings and public policy implications of behavioural economics. The final output is inevitably not exhaustive, yet it aims at offering a fair taste of some of the most representative questions in the field on which many philosophers, methodologists, and social scientists have recently been placing a great deal of intellectual effort. The topics and references compiled in this review should serve at least as safe introductions to some of the central research questions in the philosophy and methodology of economics.